University of Texas at Austin Economist Wins IZA Prize in Labor Economics

July 18, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — Daniel Hamermesh, the Sue Killam Professor in the Foundations of Economics at The University of Texas at Austin, has received the most prestigious international science award in labor economics in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the analysis of labor demand.

The IZA Prize, given by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), based in Germany, awards 50,000 euros (about $65,000). The award ceremony for Hamermesh will take place Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes Hamermesh’s high level of creativity and careful combination of theoretical and empirical methods. According to the prize committee, he has shaped the way other scholars, as well as policymakers, think about some of the key issues in labor economics.

“With his boundless creative energy and uplifting spirit, Dan Hamermesh is a constant source of inspiration for young researchers,” says IZA Director Klaus F. Zimmermann. “He has a unique talent to pose new research questions in labor economics and come up with surprising answers.”

In addition to his many research awards, Hamermesh has won multiple teaching awards from University of Texas at Austin students, parents and administrators, including the 2012 Professor of Excellence Award, the 2007-08 President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2007 Texas Blazers, Faculty Excellence Award. He teaches one of the largest courses on campus, a 550-student introduction to economics for undergraduates.

As a leading scholar of labor economics, he published a series of important papers that culminated in his classic book “Labor Demand.” He contributed to the study of time allocation and has almost single-handedly developed research on beauty and the labor market. His most recent book, “Beauty Pays,” demonstrates how society favors the beautiful.

As a regular contributor to the “Freakonomics” blog and through his book “Economics Is Everywhere,” he illustrates the ubiquity of economics in everyday life and makes his findings accessible to a larger audience.

For more information, contact: Jessica Sinn, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404;  Daniel Hamermesh, Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts, 512-475-8526.